Saturday 16 December 2017

Fortune seeks step-up as Dubs face holders

Jack Guiney
Jack Guiney

DUBLIN manager Joe Fortune is under no illusions as to the need for improvement following his side's narrow victory over Westmeath in their Leinster U21 Hurling Championship semi-final last Wednesday evening.

His side struggled for large parts six days ago - which was in marked contrast to Wexford, who dominated from start to finish in their semi-final win over Offaly.

The sides now meet on Wednesday week at Parnell Park and the Wexford native is well aware of the talent that the current holders possess throughout their ranks.

"We know we are going to be up against it. That full-forward line that Wexford have is probably the best full-forward line they have produced for 30 years.

"Conor McDonald and Jack Guiney are operating at a very high level and it will be a test for us to contain them on the night.

"They also have a very strong half-back line and we know that we will need to be at our best but on our day, we are more than capable of putting in a good display," said Fortune.

A degree of familiarity between the protagonists will add to the edge of the encounter with third-level team-mates facing each other in eight days time.

"That Wexford team are going to be a serious prospect. Half of that Wexford team are in UCD and half of our team are in UCD. UCD won the Freshers All-Ireland this year and the lads know each other very well.

"Wexford hurling in probably in a better place than Offaly and they have a serious ambition about this team.

"Being a Wexford man, I am naturally hearing about it all the time. But we have serious ambitions for this team and we can go into this game with confidence.

"If we can contain Guiney and McDonald and the rest of them and if we play like we did in that 20 minute spell in the second half against Laois, then you have to think that we will have a decent shot of gaining a positive result on the night," he said.

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